As cauponae were known to attract a disreputable clientele, it may not seem surprising that they often doubled as brothels. Wall texts and images attest to this function of the inns; a relief from southern Italy, for example, shows an innkeeper naming a "girl [for] eight asses" as part of a guest's bill. Another inscription, from the Caupona of Hermes (II.1.1) in Pompeii, appears to be directed at "...matrenia of the pretty bum." Whether "matrenia" is a name or a mispelling of the word "matrona" (meaning a married woman), the individual cited here would seem to have been a prostitute or a related entertainer who plyed her trade at the tavern.
Some graffiti also suggest that stripteases and similar displays were held within the cauponae. One Pompeian graffito, this time from the Tavern of Verecundus (I.2.23), is particularly blunt on the subject: "Restitutus says: Restituta, take off your tunic, please, and show us your hairy privates." The name "Restituta" appears in five Pompeian wall texts altogether, and likely refers to one or several prostitutes. It thus seems probable that women of this occupation frequented the cauponae, offering their services to the taverns' patrons.